Rich in history, overflowing with fascinating culture, and conveniently very affordable, these cities in Eastern Europe offer an authentic and fascinating insight into both the continent's beauty and its volatile past. As underrated as they are stunning, these bustling and picturesque metropolises are prime for anyone curious enough to visit this historically significant and unique part of the world, where cultures collide, food and drink are held dear, historic remnants echo stories of past, and attractions - both new and old - leave visitors speechless.

8 Dubrovnik, Croatia

Used as the set for "King's Landing" in the iconic TV series Game of Thrones, this old town on the Dalmatian Coast has become one of Europe's top destinations. Its history stems back to the 7th century, which is evident in its historic buildings and structures. All the various landmarks here ooze old-world charm, including the Stadium street, the Rector's Palace, and the Cultural Historical Museum, in addition to the stunning old city walls, the Spanish Steps, and Fort Lovrijenac - all of which are seen in Game of Thrones.

Even those who've never seen the hit television show will never get bored of the city's beautiful beaches (the golden Banje Beach is a local and tourist favorite), sea caves, charming and historical architecture, and superb cafes and restaurants. It's also an ideal base for island-hopping trips, with several ferries departing to and from the Elafiti islands every day.

Related: ‘Game Of Thrones:’ What You'll See On The Dubrovnik Tour In Croatia

7 Belgrade, Serbia

In the farthest reaches of Eastern Europe, Belgrade, Serbia, isn't as easily accessible, but those who do venture to this marvelous city are rewarded with an interesting mix of both the modern and old. If you love architecture, the Town Hall and Presidential Palace are stunning representations of the Balkan nation's impressive structures. Head further to Kneza Mihaila, and you'll enjoy even more historic buildings that now serve as quaint cafes, quirky shops, lovely art galleries, and sumptuous restaurants serving up hearty Balkan flavors.

However, the real showstopper is Belgrade Fortress, which not only boasts eye-catching architecture, but also a museum full of fascinating artifacts. Externally, this magnificent structure is complemented by impeccable views of Kalemegdan Park and the Save and Danube rivers.

6 Sofia, Bulgaria

Bulgaria's popularity has only accelerated in recent years thanks to its stunning beaches and beautiful cities all that can be enjoyed at a low cost. Sofia is a favorite and both its history and architecture showcase strong Greek and Roman influences that date back to ancient times. Among the city's most impressive architectural and historic wonders is the Saint Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral, which is also one of Europe's biggest Orthodox churches.

Other landmarks that are just as culturally and historically important include the Sveti Geordi rotunda, the Boyana church museum that dates back to the 10th century, and the Turkish Mineral Baths which were converted into the now-famous Sofia History Museum. Visitors seeking a little more action and adventure are also in for a brilliant time here thanks to the mighty Vitosha Mountain just half an hour outside of town, which provides superb seasonal skiing and hiking opportunities.

Related: Top 10 Tips For Visiting Eastern Europe

5 Kiev, Ukraine

Kiev is consistently rated one of Europe's greenest cities, where the M.M. Gryshko National Botanical Garden, the Feofaniya Park, and the breathtaking tended gardens of the former Mezhyhirya Presidential Palace attract nature lovers from all walks of life.

Kiev also offers tours to Chernobyl and the abandoned Pripyat town, but if that's not your cup of tea, there's still plenty on offer - the vivacious city has something for everyone; from sumptuous cafes and restaurants to fascinating museums, galleries, and gorgeous architectural buildings. And, because this incredible destination has not yet peaked in popularity, visitors can enjoy fewer crowds, and the fact that it's a very budget-friendly place makes it all the more enticing.

What makes Kiev so special is its contrasts, with the likes of palaces and Baroque churches - like the famous St Andrew's - blending with mesmerizing modern marvels such as the deepest metro station on Earth. Throw in postcard beaches near the Dnieper River, and you've got the perfect recipe for a fantastic city break.

Related: 20 Reasons Tourists Should Finally Stop Ignoring The Ukraine

4 Budapest, Hungary

Budapest with its historic monuments and awe-inspiring architecture offers an insight into its rich history that boasts both Roman and Turkish influences. The city's incredible thermal baths - the Rudas or Szechenyi baths in particular - are must-sees when visiting this unbeatable European city.

During a stay, visitors should also check out the impossibly beautiful area of Castle Hill, which provides stunning views of the Danube and is home to the city's best attractions, including Trinity Square - an underground museum housing a WWII hospital and a nuclear bunker, the Szechenyi National Library, and the eerie 13th-century Buda Castle with its impressive underground labyrinth.

If all that isn't enough, the city even offers a list of memorable day trips, such as the Baroque Royal Palace of Godollo, Eger town - known for its churches and thermal baths - and also the and the Aggtelek National Park.

Related: 10 Awesome Free Things To Do In Budapest

3 Krakow, Poland

Krakow successfully managed to endure WWII, which is evident through its stunning architecture that still remains fully intact today. The city's iconic monuments such as the surrounding historic walls, St Mary's Basilica, St Florian's Gate, and Wawel Castle all stand tall, proud, and unscathed despite the conflict. Krakow even caught the eye of movie-makers with the likes of Schindler's List being filmed in this authentic location, where the original enamel factory once owned by Oskar Schindler's is now a popular attraction since being transformed into two museums full of items used in the Oscar-winning film.

Visitors to the city can also take trips to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial camps, which are historically significant and evoke a heart-wrenching sense of the harsh reality and suffering that occurred during wartime. Other eye-opening and beautiful areas to visit in Krakow include the Ghetto Wall, the former Jewish district, and the 13th century Wieliczka Salt Mines.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Poland Is The Most Underrated Country In The World

2 Prague, Czech Republic

Dating back to AD 870, Prague is one of the oldest European cities on record. And as one of the most easily accessed and budget-friendly destinations in Europe, it's no surprise it's amongst the continent's most visited. Most major European cities are connected to Prague via train and plane, making it ideal for a quick weekend getaway. Plus, with its affordable accommodation and hosts of free attractions, it's a bargain-lovers dream.

Taking a leisurely stroll across Charles Bridge, visiting Petrin Hill for its scenic views, and walking through Prague Castle cost a big fat zero, so visitors can enjoy a full day out without spending a penny. The city also boasts tons of museums, theatres, galleries, pretty cafes, and picnic spots - Kampa Park with its art installations is perfect for picnicking, whilst the Naplavka riverbank is ideal for soaking up the city atmosphere. If history is what brings you to Prague, there are numerous Cold War bunkers, along with one of the most gorgeous libraries in the world - Strahov Library.

1 Tallinn, Estonia

The colorful Estonian coastal city of Tallinn rests right next to shimmering blue waters, where history blends harmoniously with modern delights. Here, the perfect mix of shopping centers, cafes, chocolate shops, restaurants, and bars that intertwine with old-world charm make this destination irresistible to all kinds of travelers. It's also very easy to get around because it's relatively small, so visitors are never far away from the next attraction on their itinerary.

Tallinn also hosts its very own UNESCO World Heritage Site - the impossibly beautiful Old Town with its Gothic Town Hall, medieval churches, mighty towers, and cute cafes, all of which leave guests speechless. Head outside the center of the city, and there are even more things to do and see, such as the intriguing Toompea Castle, Aleksander Nevski Cathedral, and the fascinating Lennusadam Seaplane Harbour Museum.

Next: 20 Reasons Why Eastern Europe Is Extremely Underrated (And Worth Traveling to)